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Skukuza 3rd - 6th Dec 2009

John announced on Facebook an invitation for friends to join him on Saturday night (5th Dec) for his birthday. Linds and I decided we must run for cover ;-)

And, that is what we did, deciding to head for Kruger. Well, not sure Linds had much say in the matter as that is where I wanted to go. We left Thursday afternoon straight after picking Lindsay up from work at 15h00. We got to the camp site at 20h30 after an escort from the gate to the camp, and we were set. If you are wondering "5 hour drive for a weekend". Well in our younger years, we would leave work at 15h00 on a Friday, drive to Beit Bridge during the night. Sleep on the road till the gate opened and then drive on to Byo. Then the next day, leave at 15h00 to get to the border and then drive back to Jhb. Those were the days.

The drive was awesome. A real pleasure. The road has been upgraded and is basically 99% complete. Dual carriage way all the way. Only problem is we entered Kruger gate for Skukuza during the night. The road from Nelspruit to Paul Kruger gate is a nightmare. Avoid at all costs during the night. Even during the day it is dicey. Narrow, pot holes, people, animals, you name it. The road from Nelspruit to Malelane is brilliant. Take that.

We stayed at Skukuza as we have never stayed overnight there and have heard it is big and overpopulated. Well, unless we chose the perfect weekend, it was brilliant. But, man was it HOT!!!!!! Look at photos below to prove it. Anyway, lets get to some photos.

We hope you enjoy.


Before looking further. This is ultra cool. It is a view of our altitude taken from the Garmin on our way from Johannesburg to Skukuza. Click on it to get a bigger view.

Both on the way down to Skukuza as well as when we returned, we stopped at Millys which is just before Machadodorp. It is an ideal mid way stop.

Here, behind the garage etc, was a beautiful parking and picnic spot. Pull the car in and as you can see, the table and chairs are right there. And, the views are fantastic.

O. K. for those non believers of you, I just had to take these photos.

Genuinely, the temp hit a high of 39 deg C. However, before I thought of taking a "let me prove it" photo, it had dropped half a degree. And yes, my temp gauge is very accurate!!!

The bottom photo shows 38,5 deg C at just before 18h00 in the evening!!!!!!

I am not one for driving Kruger with the windows up and air con on, however, this was definitely an exception.

This is Skukuza.

I have always avoided this camp as I have heard how busy and populated it can be. Well, as mentioned above, it is actually a fantastic camp. There were very few people and I think big enough to be a big camp, but not realize it.

Top two photos are the reception area.

 

These two photos were taken from the river front looking at some of the bungalows on the left of the camp and the railway bridge to the right of the camp.

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have some of the camp sites as well as my love looking very business like and sort of saying "don't take that photo"!

Here we are set up under a tree. Very cozy and comfortable.

Camping the german way.

On Sunday evening, when returning from our day long drive, we saw this when coming into the camp site. The bus at the front is where everyone sits, however, the trailer is both a dorm as well as pulling out into a typical German street bar. Really amazing.

I did not see anyone go out on drives or anything, so do not know how they get to see anything. They left the very next day.

On the Saturday evening when it was so hot, I took these sunset and river shots. It was the Sabie river heading back to Skukuza. We were about 5km's out.

This time of the year is baby time. They are everywhere. Ducklings, monkeys, baboons, impala and elephant, to name but a few.

Here are some photos of them.

 

 

 

 

 

The progression of bug hunting. This is a typical male!!!

Start with your back being groomed, then swing the head to the left, then take a lie down on your side, and finally.

What can I say ;-)

 

This photo reminded me so much of the DSTV magazine add. If you have seen the add, you can relate to the photo.

On our way to Tshokwane, we came across the normal traffic jam. The road was blocked and we were trying to look at where everyone was looking. Then this car directly in front of us moved and lo and behold. Lions on the road.

Well they were mating, but took them a good 5 minutes to get moving.

The sound was amazing! I can not explain the growl that came out of the male. It was like the sub audible vibrations they talk about which causes your gut to constrict.

Amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo on the right was taken on our way back to Skukuza. The lions had moved into the bush just off the road.

On Saturday, we were out for the whole day. The day before we had make some lovely Chicken sandwiches. We did not know where we were going to go, but eventually ended up at Mlondozi.

This picnic site is on a koppie overlooking the Mlondozi dam. After we had our food and beer, we spent over an hour just chilling and watching the world go buy.

Due to its elevation over the dam, we looked out over the area below with binoculars and had a wonderful time. We saw elephants, rhino, warthogs, impalas, hippos out the water grazing in the fields and much much more.

 

 

 

 

 

This photo is round the back of the koppie as you leave and is the area down river of the dam.

We were returning from Mlondozi picnic site along the Salitje road to Skukuza. We counted 14 Giraffe around us and they were going about their business.

This was really cool and made Lindsay's day. Her best animal.

Also heading back from Tshokwane we came across these Dugga boys. There were about 50 of them and amazing to see. Wow, they could only make a mess on the road ;-)

On Sunday, we did not want to leave via the Paul Kruger gate as it involved either the terrible road from the gate to Nelspruit, or the hilly windy road via Hazyview, Sabie and Lydenburg.

We then made the wise choice to leave early to Afsal, have breakfast there and then down to the Malelane gate and out on the beautiful N4 to Nelspruit and then Jhb.

Top two photos is Linds and I cooking and having breakfast at Afsal. Yummy.

 

Photo on left is of the picnic site while the one on the right was a worm heading past us as we cooked.

 

 

 

 

Then, just to the left of the above left photo is a tree with a Scoops owl. The fellow is only about 150mm tall. Photo on the right is heading to the Malelane gate.

On our way down to Afsal, there was what looked like a rock initially lying in the bush to the right. It was however a rhino. We wondered if it was a white or black deciding it could only be white. Black are so shy and elusive it could not be. Low and behold, when it got up and we could see its face better, it was a Black rhino. Double awesome.
Some of the Birds we photographed during the weekend. I really need to get the Canon 100-400 zoom lens!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Heading down on our Friday evening drive to Nkhulu, there was this Ground Hornbill.
Also on the way to Tshokwane, we took these photos near a watering hole.
   

Until next time, keep well and happy holidays.

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